Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Learning the Math

Learning the Math

We divided, then subtracted,
one from two,
the one who stayed
never saying goodbye.

She'd given back his love
notes, the Christmas cards,
the years of keeping house,
Yuri's gold-leaf peacock

in its gold-leaf frame.
He'd taken two paintings
she didn't want, thrown
out the two-dogs'

leash, tried to explain why
he'd transferred money
from their joint account.
He barely understood

her need for space,
or time to write her poems
in that room — her own.
She couldn't accept

his need to work those
twelve to sixteen hours
daily, the Saturday
mornings he'd spend away.

What difference did
forgiveness make
when time too mean
with words ill-said

broke her, broke her
mind even more
than her heart. No-contest
was agreed-to,

their settlement cold cash,
one from two arranged
so neatly, how all math
works, its lesson learned.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thought for the Day

Never say you know the last word about any human heart.
~ Henry James

Quoted from Henry James's Short Story "Louisa Pallant" (1888) (The quotation is used in the opening of William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart (2002). The novel received the Prix Jean Monnet.)

Henry James (1843-1916), Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet 

William Boyd, Novelist

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . One of the ways we survive darkness. . .
is to find reasons to laugh.
~ Ayobami Adebayo

Quoted from Patrik Henry Bass, "Great Expectations: An Interview with Ayobami Adebayo", The Paris Review, August 9, 2017

Ayobami Adebayo, Novelist 

Adebayo's debut novel is Stay with Me (Penguin Random House, August 22, 2017).

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thought for the Day

What does the word last mean in moments of desolation?
~ John Berger

Quoted from John Berger, "John Berger Contemplates Life and Death at the Graveside of Mahmoud Darwish: A Writer and a Poet in Communion", at Literary Hub, August 9, 2017 (This essay is from the Introduction to Mahmoud Darwish's Mural, translated by John Berger and Rema Hammami (Verso Books, 2009, 2017).

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), Palestinian National Poet

John Berger (1926-2017), Art Critic, Writer, Novelist